U.S. has highest rate of med errors among six nations, survey finds

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A whopping 34% of U.S. patients said they received wrong medication, improper treatment or incorrect or delayed test results in the last two years, according to a new study.

The percentage surpasses the rate in Canada, Britain and three other developed countries, the Commonwealth Fund found. Only 30% of patients in Canada reported comparable medical errors. That compares to 27% in Australia, 25% in New Zealand, 23% in German and 22% in Britain.
Another staggering stat: 33% of patients in the United States reported the disorganized care at doctor's offices. That was the highest rate among countries surveyed followed by Germany with 26%, Canada with 24% and New Zealand with 21%. Patients in Britain and Australia reported 19 percent.
The fund surveyed between 700 and 750 adults in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and about 1,500 in Britain, Germany and the United States.
(Published 11-4-05)